global warming's six americas in march 2012 and november 2011

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global warming's six americas in march 2012 and november 2011

global warming’s

six americas

in march 2012

and november 2011


Global Warming’s Six Americas, March 2012 and Nov. 2011

Interview dates: March 12 - March 30, 2012; and Oct. 20 - Nov. 16, 2011

Interviews: 1,008 Adults (18+) in March, 2012; and 1,000 Adults (18+) in Oct.-Nov., 2011

Margin of error: +/- 3 percentage points at the 95% confidence level for each sample.

NOTE: All results show percentages among all respondents, unless otherwise labeled. Totals may occasionally

occasionally round to more than 100 percent due to rounding.

This study was conducted by the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication and the George Mason

University Center for Climate Change Communication, and was funded by the Surdna Foundation, the 11th Hour

Project, the Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment and the V. Kann Rasmussen

Foundation.

Principal Investigators:

Anthony Leiserowitz, PhD

Edward Maibach, MPH, PhD

Yale Project on Climate Change Communication

Center for Climate Change Communication

School of Forestry and Environmental Studies

Department of Communication

Yale University

George Mason University

(203) 432-4865 (703) 993-1587

anthony.leiserowitz@yale.edu

emaibach@gmu.edu

Connie Roser-Renouf, PhD

Jay Hmielowski, PhD

Center for Climate Change Communication

Yale Project on Climate Change Communication

Department of Communication

School of Forestry and Environmental Studies

George Mason University

Yale University

(707) 825-0601 (203) 432-1208

croserre@gmu.edu

jay.hmielowski@yale.edu

Cite as: Leiserowitz, A., Maibach, E., Roser-Renouf, C. & Hmielowski, J. (2012) Global Warming’s Six Americas,

March 2012 & Nov. 2011. Yale University and George Mason University. New Haven, CT: Yale Project on

Climate Change Communication.

http://environment.yale.edu/climate/files/Six-Americas-March-2012.pdf


Page

4 Executive Summary

TABLE OF CONTENTS

13 Figure 1: Proportion of the U.S. adult population in the Six Americas, March 2012

14 Figure 1a: Proportion of the U.S. adult population in the Six Americas, fall 2008 through March

2012

I: KEY BELIEFS ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING IN MARCH 2012

15 Figure 2: Certainty of belief about the reality of global warming

16 Figure 3: Perceived harm of global warming

17 Figure 4: Perceived cause of global warming

18 Figure 5: Perceptions of scientific agreement on global warming

19 Figure 6: Perceived solvability of global warming

II: MARCH 2012 RESULTS

20 Table 1: Perceptions of other Americans' opinions on global warming

21 Table 2: Weather salience

22 Table 3: Perceptions of unusual weather

23 Table 4: Perceptions of local extreme weather events

26 Table 5: Perceived impact of global warming on extreme weather events

28 Table 6: Personal experience of extreme weather and natural disasters

29 Table 7: Harm experienced from extreme weather and natural disasters

30 Table 8: Experience of extreme weather and natural disasters by acquaintances

31 Table 9: Harm experienced from extreme weather and natural disasters by acquaintances

32 Table 10: Preparedness for extreme weather and natural disasters

33 Table 11: Perceptions about global warming political activism

34 Table 12: News sources and attention to news

36 Table 13: Trust in information sources

37 Table 14: Weathercasters and climate scientists as information sources

38 Figure 7: Global warming issue priority, 2008-2012

39 Figure 8: Clean energy issue priority, 2010-2012

40 Table 15: The economy vs. the environment and global warming

41 Table 16: Support for a national response: Specific climate and energy policies

44 Table 17: Party identification, political ideology, and voting intentions

Yale/George Mason University Six Americas, March 2012 and Nov. 2011 2


III: NOVEMBER 2011 RESULTS

46 Table 18: Anticipated impacts of global warming on weather, humans and the environment

51 Table 19: Expectations regarding natural resource shortages

53 Table 20: Costs and benefits of reducing global warming

54 Table 21: Moral ambivalence about global warming

55 Table 22: Future orientation

58 Table 23: Political efficacy

59 Table 24: Perceptions about the responsiveness of public officials

60 Table 25: Self-efficacy for conservation actions

61 Table 26: Perceived effectiveness of conservation actions

62 Table 27: Interpersonal communication

63 Table 28: Trust in information sources

64 Table 29: Global warming and the news: Beliefs, attitudes and attention

65 Table 30 Segment demographics in March 2012

66 Methods

Yale/George Mason University Six Americas, March 2012 and Nov. 2011 3


Executive Summary

Introduction

This report extends and updates an ongoing program of research analyzing

Americans’ interpretations of and responses to climate change. The research

segments the American public into six audiences that range along a spectrum

of concern and issue engagement from the Alarmed , who are convinced of the

reality and danger of climate change and highly supportive of personal and

political actions to mitigate the threat, to the Dismissive, who are equally

convinced that climate change is not occurring and that no response should be

made.

The first report identifying these segments - Global Warming's Six Americas

2009 - profiled the segments in detail. Three subsequent reports released in

2010 and 2011 tracked changes in the sizes of the segments, and described

additional characteristics and beliefs of the six groups. This report is the fifth

in the series; it contains data collected in March 2012 and in Nov. 2011, and

explores the groups' beliefs about extreme weather, natural disasters, the

upcoming presidential election and several other topics. Table headings

indicate whether the data were collected in 2011 or 2012.

Segment

Size

Figure 1a

All prior reports may be accessed at:

http://environment.yale.edu/climate/publications/ and at

http://climatechange.gmu.edu.

In the Fall of 2008 when the audience segments were first identified, just over

half the U.S. population fell into the two most concerned segments - the

Alarmed and Concerned. In Jan. 2010 the proportion in these two segments

had decreased by 11 percentage points, and the proportion in the least

concerned segment, the Dismissive, had more than doubled from 7 to 16

percent of the population. Since then, there has been a small rebound in the

size of the Alarmed segment (currently 13%) and a contraction in the size of

the Dismissive segment (currently 10%).

I: KEY BELIEFS ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING

Yale/George Mason University Six Americas, March 2012 and Nov. 2011 4


Certainty of

Belief about the

Reality of Global

Warming

Perceived Harm

of Global

Warming

Perceived

Cause of

Global Warming

Figure 2

Figure 3

Figure 4

Prior research has identified several key beliefs held by individuals who

support policies to reduce global warming. 1 They are: (1) certainty that global

warming is occurring; (2) perceiving it to be harmful; (3) recognizing that

human activities are causing global warming; (4) recognizing the widespread

agreement among scientists about the reality and human causes of global

warming; and (5) believing that the threat of global warming can be reduced

by human actions. Differences among the segments on these key beliefs are

shown in Figures 2-6 to introduce readers new to this research to the

segmentation framework.

Nearly 100 percent of the Alarmed understand that global warming is

happening (97%), and 57 percent of the group are extremely certain. By

contrast, three-quarters of the Dismissive (76%) believe global warming is not

happening, and 17 percent of the group are extremely certain. Half of the

Disengaged say they don't know whether or not global warming is happening

(49%); among those Disengaged who do express a viewpoint, most believe

that global warming is happening (42% vs. 8% who believe it's not happening).

Majorities of both the Concerned and the Cautious understand that global

warming is happening, but are less certain than the Alarmed, while the

Doubtful express a range of beliefs: A third say they don't know whether it is

happening or not, a quarter are sure it is not happening (26%), and 14 percent

are sure that it is happening.

An index of global warming risk perceptions finds large differences in

perceptions of the harm that global warming will cause to humans, plants, and

animals, from a high of 3.6 on a four-point scale among the Alarmed to a low

of 1.1 among Dismissives, i.e., "not at all."

Large majorities of the Alarmed and Concerned understand that global

warming is caused mostly by human activities (84% and 70% respectively),

while two-thirds of the Doubtful and Dismissive say that if it is happening, it is

caused by natural changes in the environment (68% and 65% respectively).

The Cautious and Disengaged are more divided, with the Cautious almost

evenly split between human (44%) and natural causes (42%), and the

Disengaged more likely to believe that natural changes are responsible (47%)

than human activities (37%).

Yale/George Mason University Six Americas, March 2012 and Nov. 2011 5


Perceptions of

Scientific

Agreement on

Global Warming

Figure 5

Three-quarters of the Alarmed say that most scientists agree that global

warming is happening (75%), while three-quarters of the Dismissive believe

there is a great deal of disagreement among scientists regarding the reality of

global warming (73%). More of the Concerned say that scientists agree (48%),

than say that scientists disagree (37%). Among the Cautious and

Doubtful, however, more believe that scientists disagree (46% and 44%

respectively). A majority of the Disengaged say they don't know enough to

say (55%); only 13 percent of the group say that most scientists agree.

Perceived

Solvability of

Global Warming

Figure 6

Few Americans are confident that humans will successfully reduce global

warming - six percent or less in each of the six groups. Majorities of the

Alarmed, Concerned, Cautious and Disengaged say that humans are capable

of reducing global warming, but that it's unclear at this point whether we will

do what's needed. By contrast, 98 percent of the Dismissive and two-thirds of

the Doubtful (65%) say that humans aren't able to reduce global warming, or

that it is not happening. Between 20 and 27 percent of all the groups except

the Dismissive believe that humans could reduce global warming, but are not

going to do so because people aren't willing to change their behavior.

Perceptions of

Other Americans'

Opinions on

Global Warming

Table 1

II: MARCH 2012 RESULTS

When asked to estimate the proportion of Americans who hold various beliefs

about global warming, both the Alarmed and Dismissive overestimate the

proportion of Americans that agree with them: The Alarmed think that 45

percent of Americans believe global warming is happening due to human

activities; the actual percentage is 38. The Dismissives think that 30 percent

of Americans believe global warming is not happening; the actual percentage

is 14. Likewise, the Disengaged, who have given little thought to the issue,

overestimate the proportion of Americans who say they don't know whether

global warming is happening: They estimate this proportion as 27 percent,

while the actual proportion is 20 percent.

Yale/George Mason University Six Americas, March 2012 and Nov. 2011 6


Weather Salience

and Perceptions

of Unusual

Weather

Note: the

weather

questions were

asked prior to

the questions on

global warming.

Tables 2-4

The Alarmed pay more attention to the weather than other groups: Almost

three-quarters (73%) strongly agree that they pay close attention to the

weather, compared to 54 percent of the Concerned and less than half of the

Cautious (37%), Disengaged (40%), Doubtful (35%) and Dismissive (43%). The

Alarmed are more likely to recall unusual weather events locally and in other

parts of the U.S. over the past year, and three-quarters believe the weather in

the U.S. has gotten much (36%) or somewhat worse (41%) over the past

several years. By contrast, close to half of the Dismissive (47%) and 44 percent

of the Doubtful believe the weather has been about the same as usual, while a

quarter of the Dismissive (26%) and a third of the Doubtful (35%) believe it's

getting worse. Belief that weather in the U.S. is getting worse is common in all

other groups, however: 66% of the Concerned, 47 percent of the Cautious,

and 43 percent of the Disengaged say the weather has gotten worse.

Large majorities of the Alarmed say that extreme weather events have

become more common in their own local area in recent decades, including

heat waves, droughts, floods, and problems with air quality, while most of the

Dismissive say they have stayed about the same. Between a quarter and twothirds

of the Disengaged say they don't know if there have been changes in

the frequency of extreme weather events.

Perceived Impact

of Global

Warming on

Extreme Weather

Events

Table 5 Ninety-three percent of the Alarmed, 92 percent of the Concerned, 74

percent of the Cautious, and 73 percent of the Disengaged say that global

warming is affecting the weather in the U.S. Majorities of these groups also

say that global warming made several extreme weather and natural disasters

in 2011 worse, including the drought in Texas and Oklahoma, floods in the

Mississippi River Valley, and record high temperatures across much of the U.S.

By contrast, 90 percent of the Dismissive and 66 percent of the Doubtful say

that global warming is not affecting the weather in the U.S.

Experience with

Extreme Weather

& Natural

Disasters

Tables 6-9

The more concerned segments are much more likely to say that they and

people they know have experienced extreme weather and natural disasters in

the past year, and are more likely to say that they were harmed "a great deal"

or "a moderate amount" by these events. Reports of extreme weather and

natural disaster experience are high among all segments, however, including

66 percent of the Dismissive .

Yale/George Mason University Six Americas, March 2012 and Nov. 2011 7


Preparedness for

Extreme Weather

& Natural

Disasters

Table 10

Large majorities of the Alarmed (82%) and Concerned (67%) say they believe

that a natural disaster is likely in their community in the coming year. A

majority of the Alarmed say they have family evacuation plans in case of a

disaster, and half have an emergency supply kit; among the Concerned,

however, only a third have a plan (34%) and 39 percent have a kit. The

Dismissive are the least likely to believe that a natural disaster is likely in the

coming year (29%), but are second only to the Alarmed in their preparedness:

43 percent have an evacuation plan and 47 percent have an emergency supply

kit. The Disengaged and Doubtful are least likely to have thought about

preparing for a natural disaster: 19 percent of the Disengaged and 30 percent

of the Doubtful have an emergency supply kit, while only only 28 and 21

percent have an evacuation plan, respectively.

Perceptions

about Global

Warming

Political Activism

Table 11 Large majorities of the Alarmed (89%), Concerned (77%), and Cautious (64%),

say that if people with their views worked together, they could influence their

elected representatives' decisions on global warming. The other groups are

split, with substantial proportions agreeing, disagreeing or not sure about their

collective ability to influence their representatives. Half or more of the

Alarmed (82%) and Concerned (50%) say they are personally willing to join a

campaign to convince elected officials to do "the right thing" on the issue.

Large majorities of the Doubtful and Dismissive are against joining a

campaign, whereas the Cautious and Disengaged tend to be either against

joining a campaign or unsure.

Trust in

Information

Sources

Table 13

Most Americans trust climate scientists (73%) more than other kinds of

scientists (65%) as sources of information on global warming; among the

Dismissive, however, this pattern is reversed: only 29 percent trust climate

scientists and 39 percent trust other kinds of scientists. Trust in oil, gas and

coal companies is low in all groups, with less than 15 percent of the Alarmed,

Concerned, and Cautious trusting these sources. The Disengaged express the

highest trust at 25 percent, followed by the Dismissive (20%) and Doubtful

(18%). Car companies and consumer goods companies are also trusted by

relatively few Americans.

More than twice as many Americans trust Barack Obama (46%) than Mitt

Romney (21%) as a source of information on global warming. Obama is more

trusted than Romney by a margin of 64 percentage points among the

Alarmed; 40 points among the Concerned; 30 points among the Cautious; and

19 points among the Disengaged. The Doubtful trust the two candidates

about equally, while the Dismissive trust Romney more than Obama by 33

percentage points.

Yale/George Mason University Six Americas, March 2012 and Nov. 2011 8


The Importance

of the

Widespread

Scientific

Agreement on

Global Warming

Table 14

Close to half of the respondents (48%) say that if 90 percent of climate

scientists were to state publicly that global warming is happening, it would

increase their level of concern about the issue. The Concerned are the most

likely to say that their concern would increase (66%); 58 percent of the

Alarmed say their concern would increase, as do 48 percent of the Cautious.

Only 18 percent of the Dismissive, however, say their concern would increase,

consistent with their distrust of climate scientists.

Issue Priorities Figure 7

Figure 8

The priority accorded to global warming and clean energy development is

highest among the Alarmed and lowest among the Dismissive. Issue priorities

have remained relatively stable over time within the 6 groups, with two

exceptions: First, the priority of both issues has dropped among the

Disengaged: The priority of global warming dropped by 17 percentage points,

while the priority of clean energy dropped by 13 points. Second, the priority

of clean energy has risen by 10 percentage points among the Dismissive since

Jan. 2010.

Support for a

National

Response:

Specific Climate

and energy

policies

Table 16

Three policies that would promote the development and use of clean energy

sources are supported by majorities of five of the six groups, i.e., by all but the

Dismissive: Funding more research into renewable energy sources; providing

tax rebates for people who purchase energy-efficient vehicles or solar panels;

and regulating carbon dioxide. Signing an international treaty requiring the

U.S. to cut its emissions is supported by majorities of all groups except the

Doubtful and Dismissive.

A policy to hold the fossil fuel industry responsible for its hidden costs - health

care for people with illnesses caused by polluted air and water, military

expenditures to maintain our access to foreign oil, and the environmental

costs of spills and accidents - is supported by 61 percent of Americans,

including 76 percent of the Alarmed, 73 percent of the Concerned, and 61

percent of the Cautious; it is opposed by half of the Disengaged (51%) and

Doubtful ( 51%), and by 65 percent of the Dismissive.

Sixty percent of Americans say they would be more likely to vote for a

candidate who supports legislation to reduce the federal income tax, while

increasing taxes on fossil fuels by an equal amount; only 20 percent say they

would be less likely to vote for such a candidate. Majorities of the Alarmed

(82%), Concerned (71%), Cautious (65%) and Disengaged (51%) would favor a

candidate holding this position. The Doubtful and Dismissive are more

divided, with 43 percent of the Doubtful and 23 percent of the Dismissive

favoring such a candidate. However, 31 percent of the Doubtful and 30

percent of the Dismissive say it would make no difference in their votes.

Yale/George Mason University Six Americas, March 2012 and Nov. 2011 9


Anticipated

Impacts of Global

Warming on

Weather,

Humans and the

Environment

Table 18

Offshore drilling is supported by 62 percent of Americans and by majorities of

four of the six groups, i.e., all but the Alarmed and Concerned. Nuclear power

plants are supported by the Dismissive (71%) and Doubtful (58%), and

opposed by majorities of the other four groups. Eliminating subsidies from all

forms of energy production is opposed by majorities of all groups except the

Doubtful.

Respondents were asked if they thought global warming would cause more or

fewer of a variety of impacts, including severe heat waves, droughts and water

shortages, floods, famines and food shortages, etc., both in the U.S. and

worldwide over the next 20 years, if nothing is done to address it. The

perceived threat is very similar for the world and the U.S., though the

perceived threat to the U.S. is slightly lower. Majorities of the Alarmed and

Concerned think that each of 10 threats will increase over the coming 20

years, while majorities of the Cautious say 7 of 10 will increase both nationally

and worldwide. Between half and three-quarters of the Disengaged respond

that they don't know whether each impact will increase or not (48% to 73%).

Among the Doubtful, between 35 and 60 percent say there will be no changes

and another quarter to a third say they don't know. Majorities of the

Dismissive say that nationally all 10 threats will remain about the same, and

worldwide, 8 threats will remain the same.

Expectations

Regarding

Natural Resource

Shortages

Costs and

Benefits of

Reducing Global

Warming

Table 19

Table 20

The groups most concerned about global warming are also the most worried

about the U.S. experiencing natural resource shortages. Eighty percent of the

Alarmed and 67 percent of the Concerned say they are "very" or "somewhat"

worried about the country running out of natural resources. By contrast, 70

percent of the Doubtful and 76 percent of the Dismissive say they are "not

very" or "not at all" worried.

Respondents were asked to consider the costs and benefits, respectively, of

government policies to reduce global warming. The Alarmed, Concerned and

Cautious have very similar beliefs about costs - 20 to 27 percent believe it

would be extremely costly; but these groups have very different beliefs about

benefits, with the Alarmed seeing far higher benefits - 78 percent of the

Alarmed believe the policies would be extremely beneficial, compared to 42

percent of the Concerned and 12 percent of the Cautious. By contrast, none

of the Dismissive believe the climate policies would be extremely beneficial,

while two-thirds believe they would be extremely costly (67%). Few

respondents in any group believe that reducing global warming would be "not

costly at all" (4 percent or less).

Yale/George Mason University Six Americas, March 2012 and Nov. 2011 10


Future

Orientation

Table 22

The Alarmed are the most likely of the six groups to say that they consider

future consequences when deciding how to act. The Dismissive are also likely

to say they consider future consequences: 69 percent agree that it's

important to take warnings about negative outcomes seriously, even if the

negative outcome will not occur for many years.

Political Efficacy Table 23 Both the Alarmed and Dismissive express strong political efficacy, stating that

they are well-informed and qualified to participate in politics. About two-thirds

say they are well-informed about the important political issues the nation

faces (66% and 69% respectively). By contrast, only a quarter of the

Disengaged say they are well-informed on political issues (24%), and only 16

percent say they are well-qualified to participate politically. The

Concerned, who resemble the Alarmed on many dimensions, express much

lower political efficacy than the Alarmed, with 46 percent saying they don't

feel well-qualified to participate in politics. The Cautious and Doubtful also

express relatively low political efficacy.

Perceptions

about the

Responsiveness

of Public Officials

Table 24

Majorities of every group except the Disengaged say that public officials don't

care what people like them think when deciding how to act on global warming;

three-quarters of the Alarmed (77%) and the Dismissive (75%) agree with this

statement.

Interpersonal

Communication

Table 27 Close to two-thirds of Americans say they never discuss global warming (64%),

including majorities of every group except the Alarmed. The majority of the

Alarmed (60%) and half of the Dismissive (50%) say that most or all of their

friends share their views on global warming; proportions are much lower in

the remaining four groups, ranging from 10 percent among the Disengaged to

28 percent among the Doubtful.

Global Warming

in the News:

Beliefs, Attitudes

and Attention

Table 29

Overall, very few Americans report paying "a lot of attention" to news stories

about global warming. While over half (55%) of the Alarmed pay "a lot of

attention," the same is true of only small minorities of the other five groups

(13% or less). Half of the Concerned say they pay "some attention" and half of

the Cautious say they pay "a little attention."

Two-thirds of Americans (68%) believe that media coverage of global warming

is distorted by special interest groups, including majorities of every segment

except the Disengaged. Majorities of the Dismissive and Doubtful also

believe that media coverage is biased against their views (87% and 63%

respectively); among the other four groups, between 30 and 45 percent

believe that media coverage is biased against their views.

Yale/George Mason University Six Americas, March 2012 and Nov. 2011 11


Demographics in

March 2012

References

Table 30

The demographic characteristics of the Six Americas segments do not differ

very much. Nonetheless, some differences are apparent: The Alarmed are

more likely than the national average to be in the 35-to-44 age group, to have

a Bachelor's or higher degree, and to make between $25K and $40K.

Demographics of the Concerned and Cautious are very similar to the national

averages; however the Concerned are somewhat more likely to be female,

while the Cautious are more likely to be between 25 and 34 years old. The

Disengaged are more likely to be between 25 and 34 or between 45 and 54;

they are also more likely to be female, to have had some college, to earn

between $60K and $85K, and to be non-Hispanic African-Americans. The

Doubtful are more likely to be between 18 and 24 years old, male, with a high

school degree, and with incomes under $25K. The Dismissive are more likely

to be 65 to 74 years old, male, non-Hispanic Whites, with incomes of $85K or

more.

1 Ding, et al. (2011). Support for climate policy and societal actions are linked to

perceptions about scientific agreement. Nature Climate Change. DOI:

10.1038/NCLIMATE1295.

Roser-Renouf, et al. (2011). The Genesis of Climate Change Activism: From Key

Beliefs to Political Advocacy. Paper presented to the International Communication

Association Conference, Boston.

Krosnick, et al. , (2006) The origins and consequences of democratic citizen's policy

agenda: A study of popular concern about global warming. Climatic Change , 77: 7-

43.

Yale/George Mason University Six Americas, March 2012 and Nov. 2011 12


Figure 1: Proportion of the U.S. Adult Population in the Six Americas, March 2012

Yale/George Mason University Six Americas, March 2012 and Nov. 2011 13


100

Figure 1a: Proportion of the U.S. Adult Population in the Six Americas,

2008-2012

7

11

12

16 12 12

13

12 14

6 10 10 10

9 10

16 15

6

19

Dismissive

50

27 24 24 24

29

Doubtful

Disengaged

Cautious

Concerned

33

Alarmed

29

28 28 28 27

0

18

10

13 12 13 13

Fall 2008 Jan 2010 Jun 2010 May 2011 Nov 2011 Mar 2012

Yale/George Mason University Six Americas, March 2012 and Nov. 2011 14


Figure 2: Certainty of Belief about the Reality of Global Warming, March 2012

100

3

11

7

2

1

2

2

3

3

13

17

Extremely sure gw

is not happening

29

29

29

4

49

13

2

35

Very sure gw is not

happening

Somewhat sure gw

is not happening

33

Not at all sure gw is

not happening

50

Don't know

0

46

48

10

8

20

57

16

29

4

13

17

15

10

2

5

1

3

4

3

Alarmed (13%) Concerned (26%) Cautious (29%) Disengaged (6%) Doubtful (15%) Dismissive (10%)

Not at all sure gw is

happening

Somewhat sure gw

is happening

Very sure gw is

happening

Extremely sure gw

is happening

Yale/George Mason University Six Americas, March 2012 and Nov. 2011 15


Figure 3: Perceived Harm of Global Warming, March 2012

A great deal

4.0

A moderate

amount

3.0

3.6

3.2

Data shown are the average responses to eight items

asking "How much do you think global warming will harm:

(1) you personally; (2) your family; (3) your community;

(4) people in the United States; (5) people in other

modern industrialized countries; (6) people in developing

countries; (7) future generations; and (8) plant and animal

species.

2.5

2.5

Only a little

2.0

1.8

Not at all

1.0

Alarmed (13%) Concerned (26%) Cautious (29%) Disengaged (6%) Doubtful (15%) Dismissive (10%)

1.1

Yale/George Mason University Six Americas, March 2012 and Nov. 2011 16


Figure 4: Perceived Cause of Global Warming, March 2012

"Assuming global warming is happening, do you think it is..."

100

1 2 2

4 1

2

6

2

9

14

5 12

8

Don't know*

13

42

23

Other

50

0

47

12

68

84

5

65

70

44

37

5

12

4

Alarmed (13%) Concerned (26%) Cautious (29%) Disengaged (6%) Doubtful (15%) Dismissive (10%)

Neither because

global warming isn't

happening

Caused mostly by

natural changes in the

environment

Caused by human

activities and natural

changes*

Caused mostly by

human activities

*volunteered

Yale/George Mason University Six Americas, March 2012 and Nov. 2011 17


Figure 5: Perceptions of Scientific Agreement on Global Warming,

March 2012

100

8

1

16

15

26

29

9

14

Don't know enough to say

37

1

55

9

Most scientists think global

warming is not happening

50

75

46

44 73

There is a lot of

disagreement among

scientists about whether or

not global warming is

happening

48

32

Most scientists think global

warming is happening

0

27

18

13

4

Alarmed (13%) Concerned (26%) Cautious (29%) Disengaged (6%) Doubtful (15%) Dismissive (10%)

Yale/George Mason University Six Americas, March 2012 and Nov. 2011 18


Figure 6: Perceived Solvability of Global Warming, March 2012

100

5 4

23 24

18

2

21

26

Global warming isn't

happening

27

21

45

Humans can't reduce

global warming, even if

it is happening

50

66 66

52 51

39

20

53

Humans could reduce

global warming, but

people aren't willing to

change their behavior,

so we're not going to

Humans could reduce

global warming, but it's

unclear at this point

whether we will do

what's needed

0

12

6 5 4 5 3

1

Alarmed (13%) Concerned (26%) Cautious (29%) Disengaged (6%) Doubtful (15%) Dismissive (10%)

Humans can reduce

global warming, and we

are going to do so

successfully

Yale/George Mason University Six Americas, March 2012 and Nov. 2011 19


TABLE 1 | Perceptions of Other Americans' Opinions on Global Warming

Please estimate the proportion of Americans who hold each of the beliefs shown below. Your answer for each belief should be between 0

percent and 100 percent; your answers should total to 100 percent.

What proportion of Americans…

Believe that global warming is happening due

mostly to human activities?

Believe that global warming is happening due

mostly to natural causes?

Mar 2012

National

Average

Alarmed

(13%)

Concerned

(26%)

Cautious

(29%)

Disengaged

(6%)

Doubtful

(15%)

Dismissive

(10%)

37 45 44 38 33 28 25

24 20 20 25 24 30 29

Don’t believe that global warming is happening? 20 21 20 17 17 19 30

Haven’t yet made up their mind about whether or

not global warming is happening?

Note: If estimates did not total to 100 percent, respondent was prompted to correct them.

Accurate Proportions

Believe that global warming is happening due mostly

to human activities? 1 38

Believe that global warming is happening due mostly

to natural causes? 2 19

Don’t believe that global warming is happening? 14

Haven’t yet made up their mind about whether or

not global warming is happening?

20

18 14 16 19 27 24 16

1

38 percent is the proportion of respondents that: 1) said global warming is happening, and 2) that it is mostly caused by human activities. The cause question begins,

"Assuming global warming is happening, do you think it is..." Some respondents who said they do not believe that global warming is happening, or that they don't know,

nonetheless chose either natural or human causes in the cause question and thus were not included in this calculation.

2

19 percent is the proportion that said they believe global warming is happening, and that it is mostly caused by natural changes in the environment.

Yale/George Mason University Six Americas, March 2012 and Nov. 2011 20


TABLE 2 | Weather Salience

How much do you agree or disagree with the

following statements?

I take notice of

changes that occur in

the weather.

Mar 2012

National

Average

Alarmed

(13%)

Concerned

(26%)

Cautious

(29%)

Disengaged

(6%)

Doubtful

(15%)

Dismissive

(10%)

Strongly agree 47 73 54 37 40 35 43

Somewhat agree 40 25 36 48 42 41 47

Neither agree nor disagree 8 1 5 7 15 17 5

Somewhat disagree 2 0 2 3 3 3 3

Strongly disagree 3 2 3 4 0 3 2

I plan my daily routine

around what the

weather may bring.

Strongly agree 14 21 17 13 14 11 10

Somewhat agree 46 47 47 46 46 43 45

Neither agree nor disagree 19 19 18 18 29 25 15

Somewhat disagree 13 6 9 17 7 16 17

Strongly disagree 8 6 9 6 5 6 14

The weather or

changes in the

weather really do not

matter to me.

Strongly agree 6 9 8 4 7 6 6

Somewhat agree 15 5 11 19 17 12 25

Neither agree nor disagree 19 12 14 22 15 28 23

Somewhat disagree 36 27 38 41 40 34 28

Strongly disagree 24 47 29 14 22 20 19

Yale/George Mason University Six Americas, March 2012 and Nov. 2011 21


TABLE 3 | Perceptions of Unusual Weather

Mar 2012

National

Average

Alarmed

(13%)

Concerned

(26%)

Cautious

(29%)

Disengaged

(6%)

Doubtful

(15%)

Dismissive

(10%)

Do you recall any unusual weather events in your

local area that occurred in the past twelve months?

56 79 68 49

43 42 46

Do you recall any unusual weather events that occurred

elsewhere in the United States in the past twelve

months?

63 82 68 52 52

63 58

In your opinion, over

the past several years,

has the weather in the

U.S. been...

Much worse 13 36 18 6 14 3 6

Somewhat worse 39 41 48 41 29 32 20

About the same as normal 27 17 14 27 28 44 47

Somewhat better 18 5 17 23 29 13 21

Much better 4 1 3 3 0 7 7

Yale/George Mason University Six Americas, March 2012 and Nov. 2011 22


TABLE 4| Perceptions of Local Extreme Weather Events

Have each of the following types of extreme weather

events become more or less common in your local area

over the past few decades?

Heat waves

Droughts

Very heavy

rainstorms

Harm to crops

Mar 2012

National

Average

Alarmed

(13%)

Concerned

(26%)

Cautious

(29%)

Disengaged

(6%)

Doubtful

(15%)

Dismissive

(10%)

Much more common 19 47 25 14 9 9 5

Somewhat more common 33 30 48 36 34 20 6

Stayed about the same 29 16 15 26 17 43 74

Somewhat less common 8 2 5 12 14 13 3

Much less common 4 2 3 7 2 1 6

Don't Know 7 3 5 5 24 15 6

Much more common 16 36 21 11 14 5 5

Somewhat more common 29 31 35 35 19 20 12

Stayed about the same 30 11 24 29 19 40 67

Somewhat less common 11 11 10 12 19 14 5

Much less common 4 4 4 5 2 3 5

Don't Know 10 6 6 8 28 17 6

Much more common 14 35 20 9 10 3 2

Somewhat more common 29 36 42 30 14 19 6

Stayed about the same 32 14 19 30 29 46 75

Somewhat less common 11 2 8 16 14 14 6

Much less common 8 10 8 8 8 4 5

Don't Know 7 2 2 7 25 14 6

Much more common 12 33 19 6 5 3 4

Somewhat more common 34 45 45 36 19 19 13

Stayed about the same 30 13 16 31 12 47 69

Somewhat less common 5 0 3 10 4 7 3

Much less common 3 1 3 3 0 5 1

Don't Know 16 9 13 15 60 18 10

Yale/George Mason University Six Americas, March 2012 and Nov. 2011 23


TABLE 4| Perceptions of Local Extreme Weather Events, continued

Have each of the following types of extreme weather

events become more or less common in your local area

over the past few decades?

Floods

Problems with air

quality

Forest fires

Mar 2012

National

Average

Alarmed

(13%)

Concerned

(26%)

Cautious

(29%)

Disengaged

(6%)

Doubtful

(15%)

Dismissive

(10%)

Much more common 12 29 20 6 5 2 4

Somewhat more common 26 36 37 22 19 15 11

Stayed about the same 37 18 22 39 29 57 69

Somewhat less common 8 4 9 13 5 4 4

Much less common 4 3 4 6 0 4 4

Don't Know 14 11 9 13 42 18 8

Much more common 12 26 20 7 5 4 3

Somewhat more common 26 40 38 25 15 12 7

Stayed about the same 37 20 25 37 29 54 72

Somewhat less common 7 5 6 11 7 8 2

Much less common 2 0 0 4 0 1 4

Don't Know 16 10 10 17 44 21 12

Much more common 11 24 22 4 7 4 3

Somewhat more common 23 32 24 26 15 17 11

Stayed about the same 38 27 28 41 20 47 68

Somewhat less common 7 6 6 10 8 7 5

Much less common 2 1 2 3 2 3 3

Don't Know 19 10 19 17 47 22 10

Yale/George Mason University Six Americas, March 2012 and Nov. 2011 24


TABLE 4| Perceptions of Local Extreme Weather Events, continued

Have each of the following types of extreme weather

events become more or less common in your local area

over the past few decades?

Problems with water

quality

Problems with

transportation

Mar 2012

National

Average

Alarmed

(13%)

Concerned

(26%)

Cautious

(29%)

Disengaged

(6%)

Doubtful

(15%)

Dismissive

(10%)

Much more common 10 22 15 5 10 1 4

Somewhat more common 20 38 30 18 5 11 3

Stayed about the same 42 20 33 41 30 56 82

Somewhat less common 6 4 5 11 2 4 3

Much less common 2 2 1 3 2 5 1

Don't Know 20 15 17 22 52 22 7

Much more common 7 22 8 2 3 2 6

Somewhat more common 16 30 24 13 7 7 4

Stayed about the same 44 27 38 47 26 52 72

Somewhat less common 9 9 5 17 3 8 4

Much less common 3 1 3 4 2 3 3

Don't Know 21 11 21 17 59 28 11

Yale/George Mason University Six Americas, March 2012 and Nov. 2011 25


TABLE 5 | Perceived Impact of Global Warming on Extreme Weather Events

How strongly do you agree or disagree

with the statements below?

Global warming is affecting the weather in

the United States.

Mar 2012

National

Average

Alarmed

(13%)

Concerned

(26%)

Cautious

(29%)

Disengaged

(6%)

Doubtful

(15%)

Dismissive

(10%)

Strongly agree 26 70 39 13 9 12 2

Somewhat agree 43 23 53 61 64 23 8

Somewhat disagree 20 2 6 23 19 47 31

Strongly disagree 11 4 2 2 9 19 59

Some people say that global warming made each of the

following events worse. How much do you agree or disagree?

Strongly agree 25 64 42 15 6 4 0

The unusually warm winter across the

United States in 2011 and 2012

Somewhat agree 47 34 52 64 68 39 6

Somewhat disagree 17 1 6 16 23 40 34

Strongly disagree 11 1 0 5 4 18 60

Record high summer temperatures in

the U.S. in 2011

Strongly agree 24 66 40 13 7 2 0

Somewhat agree 46 30 55 57 65 37 8

Somewhat disagree 19 2 5 22 24 42 33

Strongly disagree 11 1 0 7 4 19 59

The drought in Texas and Oklahoma

in 2011

Strongly agree 23 63 41 8 6 3 0

Somewhat agree 46 32 52 62 65 39 7

Somewhat disagree 19 5 6 23 26 39 32

Strongly disagree 12 1 1 7 4 19 61

Yale/George Mason University Six Americas, March 2012 and Nov. 2011 26


TABLE 5 | Perceived Impact of Global Warming on Extreme Weather Events, continued

Some people say that global warming made each of the

following events worse. How much do you agree or disagree?

Record snowfalls in the U.S. in 2010

and 2011

Mar 2012

National

Average

Alarmed

Concerned

(26%)

Cautious

(29%)

Disengaged

(6%)

Doubtful

(15%)

Dismissive

(10%)

Strongly agree 19 54 30 9 5 4 1

Somewhat agree 42 39 58 47 56 29 5

Somewhat disagree 27 5 11 38 31 48 33

Strongly disagree 12 2 1 6 7 19 61

Mississippi River floods in the spring

of 2011

Strongly agree 17 53 27 7 6 3 0

Somewhat agree 46 40 62 54 59 30 6

Somewhat disagree 25 6 10 33 28 46 31

Strongly disagree 12 1 1 6 7 21 63

Hurricane Irene

Strongly agree 16 42 29 8 5 1 0

Somewhat agree 42 45 54 47 60 29 3

Somewhat disagree 29 13 16 37 27 48 35

Strongly disagree 13 0 1 8 7 22 62

Yale/George Mason University Six Americas, March 2012 and Nov. 2011 27


TABLE 6 | Personal Experience of Extreme Weather and Natural Disasters

In the past year have you personally experienced

each of the extreme weather events or natural

disasters listed below?

Table shows proportion who experienced each

event

Mar 2012

National

Average

Alarmed

(13%)

Concerned

(26%)

Cautious

(29%)

Disengaged

(6%)

Doubtful

(15%)

Extreme high winds 59 73 71 56 46 50 39

Extreme rain storm 47 70 58 43 37 35 27

Extreme heat wave 41 63 54 37 39 24 20

Drought 34 50 36 33 30 26 22

Extreme cold temperatures 28 42 32 27 31 23 12

Extreme snow storm 25 42 24 24 20 22 14

Tornado 21 36 23 17 21 20 9

Flood 19 34 19 16 17 12 15

Hurricane 15 33 17 11 7 13 7

Wildfire 14 26 17 11 14 12 9

Dismissive

(10%)

Proportion who experienced at least one extreme

weather event or natural disaster in the past year

81 95 89 81 71 69 66

Yale/George Mason University Six Americas, March 2012 and Nov. 2011 28


TABLE 7 | Harm Experienced from Extreme Weather and Natural Disasters

How much were you harmed by these extreme

weather event(s) or natural disaster(s)?

Table shows the proportion who said they were harmed "a

great deal" or "a moderate amount."

Mar 2012

National

Average

Alarmed

(13%)

Concerned

(26%)

Cautious

(29%)

Disengaged

(6%)

Doubtful

(15%)

Extreme high winds 29 48 29 20 23 30 18

Extreme rain storm 29 43 29 23 19 33 12

Extreme heat wave 36 55 38 31 17 17 30

Drought 34 55 36 28 6 19 36

Extreme cold temperatures 26 41 29 17 21 25 18

Extreme snow storm 25 37 22 19 33 28 14

Tornado 33 38 39 30 17 24 22

Flood 31 31 36 26 40 33 25

Hurricane 36 44 43 23 50 26 13

Wildfire 30 30 36 29 13 12 56

Dismissive

(10%)

Proportion who were harmed "a great deal" or

a "moderate amount" by at least one extreme

weather event or natural disaster in the past

year

33 58 40 28 22 22 15

Yale/George Mason University Six Americas, March 2012 and Nov. 2011 29


TABLE 8 | Experience of Extreme Weather and Natural Disasters by Acquaintances

Do you personally know anyone (other than you)

who experienced one of the extreme weather

events or natural disasters listed below, in the past

year?

Table shows proportion who know someone who

experienced each event

Mar 2012

National

Average

Alarmed

(13%)

Concerned

(26%)

Cautious

(29%)

Disengaged

(6%)

Doubtful

(15%)

Extreme high winds 45 67 50 43 34 38 27

Extreme rain storm 38 69 44 32 27 30 20

Extreme heat wave 38 69 44 32 27 30 20

Drought 29 48 31 28 19 21 19

Extreme cold temperatures 31 61 36 28 21 18 13

Extreme snow storm 31 61 31 29 27 25 12

Tornado 29 48 31 28 19 21 19

Flood 25 45 27 22 22 16 15

Hurricane 21 38 23 20 10 14 10

Wildfire 16 33 18 12 14 7 14

Dismissive

(10%)

Proportion who know someone who

experienced at least one extreme weather

event or natural disaster in the past year

67 85 72 68 49 58 50

Yale/George Mason University Six Americas, March 2012 and Nov. 2011 30


TABLE 9 | Harm Experienced from Extreme Weather and Natural Disasters by Acquaintances

Overall, how much were the people you know

harmed by these extreme weather event(s) or

natural disaster(s)?

Table shows the proportion who said their acquaintance

was harmed "a great deal" or "a moderate amount."

Mar 2012

National

Average

Alarmed

(13%)

Concerned

(26%)

Cautious

(29%)

Disengaged

(6%)

Doubtful

(15%)

Extreme high winds 41 51 42 29 45 45 42

Extreme rain storm 45 56 46 33 40 42 55

Extreme heat wave 38 53 41 26 24 25 44

Drought 47 63 47 48 0 30 53

Extreme cold temperatures 31 46 37 14 25 26 17

Extreme snow storm 36 56 36 25 31 27 17

Tornado 57 68 58 61 67 41 35

Flood 54 70 57 44 33 50 47

Hurricane 49 67 50 38 29 52 25

Wildfire 48 59 51 33 14 50 53

Dismissive

(10%)

Proportion who know someone who was

harmed "a great deal" or "a moderate amount"

by an extreme weather event or natural

disaster in the past year

37 62 43 34 29 27 20

Yale/George Mason University Six Americas, March 2012 and Nov. 2011 31


TABLE 10 | Preparedness for Extreme Weather & Natural Disasters

How likely do you think it is that

extreme weather will cause a natural

disaster in your community in the

next year?

How much have you thought about

preparing for a natural disaster?

Mar 2012

National

Average

Alarmed

(13%)

Concerned

(26%)

Cautious

(29%)

Disengaged

(6%)

Doubtful

(15%)

Dismissive

(10%)

Very likely 11 32 13 6 7 5 5

Somewhat likely 40 50 54 37 36 26 24

Somewhat unlikely 30 13 22 43 34 35 28

Very unlikely 19 5 11 14 22 34 43

A great deal 17 36 21 8 7 10 21

Some 38 46 42 42 25 26 30

A little 31 15 25 37 41 42 26

None 15 2 12 12 27 22 24

Proportion who…

… have a disaster emergency plan that all members of the

family know about

… say that everyone in their household knows where they

should meet if they are forced to evacuate their home

36 58 34 35 28 21 43

43 55 43 42 47 30 48

… have an emergency supply kit in their home

… have updated their emergency supply kit in the past 6

months

37 50 39 32 19 30 47

18 27 20 13 7 13 26

Yale/George Mason University Six Americas, March 2012 and Nov. 2011 32


Table 11 | Perceptions about Global Warming Political Activism

How much do you agree or disagree with the following

statements?

If people who share my views on

global warming work together, we

can influence the decisions of our

elected representatives.

Mar 2012

National

Average

Alarmed

(13%)

Concerned

(26%)

Cautious

(29%)

Disengaged

(6%)

Doubtful

(15%)

Dismissive

(10%)

Strongly agree 19 51 19 16 2 3 20

Somewhat agree 43 38 58 48 36 29 22

Somewhat disagree 14 3 11 16 24 17 19

Strongly disagree 7 5 3 4 0 16 18

Don't Know 17 3 9 16 38 34 21

I am willing to join a campaign to

convince elected officials to do the

right thing about global warming.

Strongly agree 9 32 7 6 0 1 7

Somewhat agree 28 50 43 23 16 10 12

Somewhat disagree 18 11 14 25 23 19 9

Strongly disagree 21 2 11 15 18 44 54

Don't Know 24 5 25 31 43 26 18

Yale/George Mason University Six Americas, March 2012 and Nov. 2011 33


TABLE 12 | News Sources and Attention to News

Which of the following media

sources do you turn to most

often to keep up with current

news and world events?

Mar 2012

National

Average

Alarmed

(13%)

Concerned

(26%)

Cautious

(29%)

Disengaged

(6%)

Doubtful

(15%)

Dismissive

(10%)

Television 59 45 65 58 63 64 51

Internet (excluding email) 23 30 25 22 21 19 25

Print Newspapers 9 14 7 10 7 10 11

Radio 8 9 3 9 9 8 13

Magazines 1 2 1 1 0 0 0

How closely do you follow news about each of the

following?

Politics

Very closely 15 28 10 9 4 13 36

Somewhat closely 22 30 26 14 19 18 36

A little 41 25 41 56 42 42 16

Not at all 22 16 23 21 35 27 13

The environment

Very closely 8 31 6 2 4 5 6

Somewhat closely 30 48 43 21 16 14 30

A little 48 15 43 65 51 53 45

Not at all 14 6 8 11 30 28 20

Science and technology

Very closely 10 21 6 6 5 9 21

Somewhat closely 30 42 35 23 21 27 28

A little 45 27 42 58 42 41 41

Not at all 16 9 17 13 32 23 10

Yale/George Mason University Six Americas, March 2012 and Nov. 2011 34


TABLE 12 | News Sources and Attention to News, continued

How closely do you follow news about each of the

following?

The local weather forecast

Mar 2012

National

Average

Alarmed

(13%)

Concerned

(26%)

Cautious

(29%)

Disengaged

(6%)

Doubtful

(15%)

Dismissive

(10%)

Very closely 31 41 37 25 21 25 30

Somewhat closely 40 37 35 48 42 41 34

A little 23 16 23 25 25 22 32

Not at all 6 7 5 3 12 12 5

Health

Very closely 17 23 22 12 10 17 14

Somewhat closely 38 41 40 35 34 29 49

A little 35 28 30 45 40 36 28

Not at all 10 8 8 8 16 18 9

Yale/George Mason University Six Americas, March 2012 and Nov. 2011 35


TABLE 13 | Trust in Information Sources

How much do you trust or distrust the

following as a source of information about

global warming?

Climate scientists

Other kinds of scientists (i.e., not

climate scientists)

Oil, gas and coal companies (e.g.,

ExxonMobil and Peabody Energy)

Car companies (e.g., Ford, GM and

Toyota)

Consumer goods companies (e.g., Levi-

Strauss, Nike and Avon)

President Obama

Mitt Romney

Mar 2012

National

Average

Alarmed

(13%)

Concerned

(26%)

Cautious

(29%)

Disengaged

(6%)

Doubtful

(15%)

Dismissive

(10%)

Strongly trust 21 50 30 15 13 9 3

Somewhat trust 52 38 56 62 58 55 26

Somewhat distrust 17 9 11 19 21 20 33

Strongly distrust 9 3 3 4 8 16 37

Strongly trust 9 23 10 6 5 5 2

Somewhat trust 56 56 58 63 55 51 37

Somewhat distrust 27 19 28 25 33 27 38

Strongly distrust 8 2 4 6 7 16 23

Strongly trust 1 0 0 1 0 1 2

Somewhat trust 12 5 10 11 25 17 18

Somewhat distrust 39 18 38 46 47 44 35

Strongly distrust 48 77 52 42 27 39 46

Strongly trust 2 1 1 3 0 1 0

Somewhat trust 18 9 15 21 25 23 18

Somewhat distrust 48 39 54 50 53 47 37

Strongly distrust 32 50 30 26 22 29 46

Strongly trust 2 1 1 3 0 1 2

Somewhat trust 22 19 23 22 33 22 19

Somewhat distrust 47 49 52 49 44 45 29

Strongly distrust 29 31 24 26 24 32 50

Strongly trust 12 26 16 12 10 4 3

Somewhat trust 34 48 41 42 33 19 3

Somewhat distrust 23 16 28 24 22 29 12

Strongly distrust 30 10 16 22 35 48 82

Strongly trust 2 1 1 3 2 2 8

Somewhat trust 19 9 16 21 22 22 31

Somewhat distrust 39 24 45 44 47 41 26

Strongly distrust 39 66 38 33 29 35 34

Yale/George Mason University Six Americas, March 2012 and Nov. 2011 36


TABLE 14 | Weathercasters & Climate Scientists as Information Sources

How strongly do you agree or disagree with the statement below?

I would be interested in learning

what my favorite TV weathercaster

has to say about global warming.

Mar 2012

National

Average

Alarmed

(13%)

Concerned

(26%)

Cautious

(29%)

Disengaged

(6%)

Doubtful

(15%)

Dismissive

(10%)

Strongly agree 16 34 21 11 7 13 4

Somewhat agree 42 38 51 48 54 28 19

Somewhat disagree 24 17 16 28 30 34 23

Strongly disagree 19 10 13 13 9 26 54

If 90% of climate scientists were to agree

and state publicly that global warming is

happening, would that increase,

decrease, or have no impact on your

level of concern about the issue?

Increase my level of concern 48 58 66 48 31 34 18

Have no impact on my level of

concern

47 40 33 44 58 58 82

Decrease my level of concern 5 2 2 8 12 8 0

Yale/George Mason University Six Americas, March 2012 and Nov. 2011 37


Figure 7: Global Warming Issue Priority, 2008-2012: "Do you think global warming should be a

low, medium, high or very high priority for the president and Congress?"

Very

high

4

3.5

3.5

Alarmed

High

3

2.9

2.8

Concerned

2.6

Cautious

2.3

Medium

2

2.1

2.1

Disengaged

1.5

Doubtful

1.4

Low

1

1.1

Fall 2008 Jan 2010 Jun 2010 May 2011 Nov 2011 Mar 2012

1.0

Dismissive

Yale/George Mason University Six Americas, March 2012 and Nov. 2011 38


Figure 7: Clean Energy Issue Priority, 2010-2012: "Do you think that developing sources of clean

energy should be a low, medium, high or very high priority for the president and Congress?" *

Very

high

4

3.7 3.7

Alarmed

3.3

Concerned

High

3

3.1

3.0

Cautious

2.8

2.9

2.6

Disengaged

2.3

Doubtful

Medium

2

2.1

2.0

Dismissive

1.7

Low

1

Jan 2010 Jun 2010 May 2011 Nov 2011 Mar 2012

*Question not asked in Fall 2008 survey.

Yale/George Mason University Six Americas, March 2012 and Nov. 2011 39


TABLE 15 | The Economy vs. the Environment and Global Warming

How strongly do you agree or disagree with the

statement below?

With the economy in such bad

shape, the US can't afford to

reduce global warming.

Mar 2012

National

Average

Alarmed

(13%)

Concerned

(26%)

Cautious

(29%)

Disengaged

(6%)

Doubtful

(15%)

Dismissive

(10%)

Strongly agree 12 2 6 3 7 18 62

Somewhat agree 30 8 24 44 42 41 18

Somewhat disagree 41 41 55 44 37 29 14

Strongly disagree 17 49 16 9 14 12 6

Overall, do you think that

protecting the environment

Improves economic growth

and provides new jobs

Has no effect on economic

growth or jobs

Reduces economic growth

and costs jobs

58 88 79 57 51 35 12

25 6 15 28 33 39 34

17 6 6 15 16 25 54

When there is a conflict

between environmental

protection and economic

growth, which do you think is

more important?

Economic growth, even if it

leads to environmental

problems

Protecting the environment,

even if it reduces economic

growth

38 9 18 44 33 55 83

62 91 82 56 67 45 17

Yale/George Mason University Six Americas, March 2012 and Nov. 2011 40


TABLE 16 | Support for a National Response: Specific Climate and Energy Policies

How much do you support or oppose the following policies?

Fund more research into renewable energy

sources, such as solar and wind power.

Provide tax rebates for people who

purchase energy-efficient vehicles or solar

panels.

Regulate carbon dioxide (the primary

greenhouse gas) as a pollutant.

Expand offshore drilling for oil and natural

gas off the U.S. coast.

Mar 2012

National

Average

Alarmed

(13%)

Concerned

(26%)

Cautious

(29%)

Disengaged

(6%)

Doubtful

(15%)

Dismissive

(10%)

Strongly support 36 80 48 29 14 16 9

Somewhat support 43 13 41 54 61 52 34

Somewhat oppose 12 3 7 13 25 16 19

Strongly oppose 9 4 4 3 0 16 38

Strongly support 30 63 36 27 24 15 9

Somewhat support 46 25 54 54 54 45 26

Somewhat oppose 13 6 6 16 20 19 19

Strongly oppose 11 5 3 4 2 21 46

Strongly support 25 66 34 19 9 4 2

Somewhat support 50 23 55 63 58 51 27

Somewhat oppose 15 6 8 13 24 27 21

Strongly oppose 11 5 2 5 9 18 50

Strongly support 24 14 13 19 20 28 72

Somewhat support 38 22 36 48 47 47 17

Somewhat oppose 23 22 35 23 25 13 6

Strongly oppose 16 41 16 10 7 12 5

Yale/George Mason University Six Americas, March 2012 and Nov. 2011 41


TABLE 16 | Support for a National Response: Specific Climate and Energy Policies, continued

How much do you support or oppose the following policies?

Require electric utilities to produce at least

20% of their electricity from wind, solar, or

other renewable energy sources, even if it

cost the average household an extra $100 a

year.

Sign an international treaty that requires

the United States to cut its emissions of

carbon dioxide 90% by the year 2050.

Eliminate all federal subsidies from all forms

of energy production -- including oil, gas,

coal, nuclear, corn ethanol, solar, and wind.

Mar 2012

National

Average

Alarmed

(13%)

Concerned

(26%)

Cautious

(29%)

Disengaged

(6%)

Doubtful

(15%)

Dismissive

(10%)

Strongly support 20 53 24 17 8 6 4

Somewhat support 43 39 53 46 38 38 21

Somewhat oppose 22 5 18 27 38 33 19

Strongly oppose 15 3 5 10 17 23 57

Strongly support 19 58 23 13 9 6 0

Somewhat support 46 35 59 57 53 32 16

Somewhat oppose 19 5 10 25 26 34 18

Strongly oppose 16 2 8 6 11 28 67

Strongly support 14 13 11 10 4 23 21

Somewhat support 33 31 36 32 45 33 24

Somewhat oppose 40 40 40 43 47 33 34

Strongly oppose 14 17 12 14 4 11 20

Strongly support 13 6 9 10 2 22 33

Build more nuclear power plants.

Somewhat support 29 17 25 30 31 36 38

Somewhat oppose 38 44 40 47 50 28 13

Strongly oppose 20 34 26 13 17 15 17

Yale/George Mason University Six Americas, March 2012 and Nov. 2011 42


TABLE 16 | Support for a National Response: Specific Climate and Energy Policies, continued

Some people say that burning fossil fuels seems cheap until you include all the “hidden costs” we pay for citizens who get sick from

polluted air and water, military costs to maintain our access to foreign oil, and the environmental costs of spills and accidents. How

much do you support or oppose holding the fossil fuel industry (coal, oil, and natural gas) responsible for all the hidden costs of

their products?

Mar 2012

National

Average

Alarmed

(13%)

Concerned

(26%)

Cautious

(29%)

Disengaged

(6%)

Doubtful

(15%)

Dismissive

(10%)

Strongly support 18 46 23 9 9 11 13

Somewhat support 43 30 50 53 40 38 23

Somewhat oppose 28 19 18 35 38 37 25

Strongly oppose 11 5 9 3 13 14 40

Would you be more or less likely to vote for a candidate who supports legislation to reduce the federal income tax that Americans

pay each year, but increase taxes on coal, oil, and natural gas by an equal amount?

Much more likely 27 51 37 21 15 16 9

Somewhat more likely 33 31 34 44 36 27 14

It would make no difference in my vote 20 9 16 19 29 31 30

Somewhat less likely 11 2 9 13 9 14 16

Much less likely 9 7 5 4 11 10 31

Yale/George Mason University Six Americas, March 2012 and Nov. 2011 43


TABLE 17 | Party Identification, Political Ideology, and Voting Intentions

Generally speaking, do you

think of yourself as a...

Mar 2012

National

Average

Alarmed

(13%)

Concerned

(26%)

Cautious

(29%)

Disengaged

(6%)

Doubtful

(15%)

Dismissive

(10%)

Republican 23 9 14 25 22 32 43

Democrat 34 44 37 39 43 26 6

Independent 24 28 28 18 19 22 32

Other 3 6 1 0 0 6 14

No party/not interested in politics 15 14 20 16 16 14 6

In general, do you think of

yourself as...

Very conservative 11 6 8 4 11 14 39

Somewhat conservative 23 15 15 24 18 33 37

Moderate, middle of the road 43 31 49 50 56 39 19

Somewhat liberal 17 33 21 17 12 7 4

Very liberal 6 14 7 4 4 6 2

Are you registered to

vote?

Yes 82 88 77 80 81 82 89

No 15 13 18 19 14 12 9

Not sure 3 0 5 1 5 6 2

If the 2012 presidential

election were being held

today, who would you vote

for?

How important will a

candidate's views on global

warming be in determining

your vote for President this

year?

Barack Obama 53 76 71 56 38 34 14

Mitt Romney 47 24 29 44 62 66 86

The single most important issue 3 7 3 3 2 2 0

One of several important issues 52 89 70 51 33 18 23

Not an important issue 45 4 27 46 65 80 77

Yale/George Mason University Six Americas, March 2012 and Nov. 2011 44


PART III: NOVEMBER 2011 RESULTS

Yale/George Mason University Six Americas, March 2012 and Nov. 2011 45


TABLE 18 | Anticipated Impacts of Global Warming on Weather, Humans and the Environment

Over the next 20 years, do you think global

warming will cause more or less of the following, if

nothing is done to address it?

Severe heat waves

worldwide

Severe heat waves in the

U.S.

Nov 2011

National

Average

Alarmed

(13%)

Concerned

(28%)

Cautious

(24%)

Disengaged

(10%)

Doubtful

(16%)

Dismissive

(9%)

Many more 35 90 47 26 20 4 0

A few more 29 8 42 42 23 22 5

No difference 17 0 2 19 7 47 53

A few less 1 1 0 3 0 1 2

Many less 1 0 0 0 0 1 12

Don't Know 16 0 9 9 50 24 28

Many more 35 83 56 32 7 5 0

A few more 25 8 30 37 10 26 11

No difference 19 2 5 18 7 39 61

A few less 0 0 0 1 0 0 0

Many less 3 6 1 0 7 3 7

Don't Know 18 2 8 13 68 27 22

Droughts and water

shortages worldwide

Droughts and water

shortages in the U.S.

Many more 33 92 47 22 20 4 0

A few more 29 7 41 46 22 22 7

No difference 17 0 2 19 9 45 49

A few less 2 1 0 3 0 3 5

Many less 2 0 2 3 0 1 12

Don't Know 16 0 9 9 49 25 28

Many more 34 80 54 30 7 4 0

A few more 26 6 36 39 5 24 11

No difference 18 2 3 15 7 42 61

A few less 1 2 1 1 0 1 0

Many less 3 6 1 0 7 3 7

Don't Know 18 4 6 15 73 26 22

* Note: Sample was split for these questions: Half saw "worldwide" for each impact (N = 501 ); and half saw "U.S." (N = 499).

Yale/George Mason University Six Americas, March 2012 and Nov. 2011 46


TABLE 18 | Anticipated Impacts of Global Warming on Weather, Humans and the Environment, continued

Over the next 20 years, do you think global

warming will cause more or less of the following, if

nothing is done to address it?

Extinctions of plant and

animal species worldwide

Extinctions of plant and

animal species in the U.S.

Nov 2011

National

Average

Alarmed

(13%)

Concerned

(28%)

Cautious

(24%)

Disengaged

(10%)

Doubtful

(16%)

Dismissive

(9%)

Many more 31 89 46 16 16 4 0

A few more 33 8 43 58 20 20 12

No difference 17 0 1 17 7 49 45

A few less 1 0 1 1 4 1 2

Many less 2 0 1 2 0 1 12

Don't Know 16 3 6 7 53 25 29

Many more 31 75 52 23 7 5 0

A few more 25 15 27 41 7 23 4

No difference 20 2 8 18 7 40 64

A few less 1 0 1 1 0 0 0

Many less 3 6 1 0 7 4 7

Don't Know 21 2 11 18 71 27 24

Floods worldwide

Floods in the U.S.

Many more 31 81 49 17 20 3 0

A few more 26 14 35 38 20 24 2

No difference 19 0 3 23 9 47 56

A few less 2 0 1 3 2 1 2

Many less 2 0 1 2 2 1 12

Don't Know 19 5 11 17 48 23 28

Many more 30 85 44 23 7 7 0

A few more 26 8 37 40 7 17 4

No difference 21 2 7 18 10 43 67

A few less 1 0 3 1 0 1 0

Many less 3 6 1 0 7 3 7

Don't Know 20 0 9 18 68 29 22

* Note: Sample was split for these questions: Half saw "worldwide" for each impact (N = 501 ); and half saw "U.S." (N = 499).

Yale/George Mason University Six Americas, March 2012 and Nov. 2011 47


TABLE 18 | Anticipated Impacts of Global Warming on Weather, Humans and the Environment, continued

Over the next 20 years, do you think global

warming will cause more or less of the following, if

nothing is done to address it?

Famines and food

shortages worldwide

Famines and food

shortages in the U.S.

Nov 2011

National

Average

Alarmed

(13%)

Concerned

(28%)

Cautious

(24%)

Disengaged

(10%)

Doubtful

(16%)

Dismissive

(9%)

Many more 30 79 38 23 20 6 0

A few more 28 19 43 35 20 19 0

No difference 21 0 8 25 9 48 56

A few less 1 0 0 3 0 0 5

Many less 2 0 0 3 0 1 12

Don't Know 18 1 10 11 52 25 28

Many more 27 67 43 23 7 4 0

A few more 27 16 38 43 5 15 4

No difference 22 8 9 18 7 41 67

A few less 1 0 1 0 0 5 0

Many less 2 2 0 0 7 3 7

Don't Know 21 6 9 16 73 32 22

Forest fires worldwide

Forest fires in the U.S.

Many more 29 84 41 15 20 3 0

A few more 31 12 42 47 23 22 5

No difference 19 1 5 21 7 48 53

A few less 1 0 0 3 0 1 2

Many less 2 0 1 1 0 1 12

Don't Know 18 3 11 12 50 25 28

Many more 29 73 47 25 7 3 0

A few more 27 12 37 39 10 23 7

No difference 20 2 7 18 10 41 64

A few less 0 0 1 0 0 0 0

Many less 3 6 1 0 7 3 7

Don't Know 20 8 7 17 67 30 23

* Note: Sample was split for these questions: Half saw "worldwide" for each impact (N = 501 ); and half saw "U.S." (N = 499).

Yale/George Mason University Six Americas, March 2012 and Nov. 2011 48


TABLE 18 | Anticipated Impacts of Global Warming on Weather, Humans and the Environment, continued

Over the next 20 years, do you think global

warming will cause more or less of the following, if

nothing is done to address it?

Intense hurricanes

worldwide

Intense hurricanes in the

U.S.

Nov 2011

National

Average

Alarmed

(13%)

Concerned

(28%)

Cautious

(24%)

Disengaged

(10%)

Doubtful

(16%)

Dismissive

(9%)

Many more 28 77 38 19 15 3 0

A few more 30 19 44 38 26 21 2

No difference 20 0 2 24 9 49 56

A few less 1 0 3 1 0 0 2

Many less 2 0 0 2 0 1 12

Don't Know 20 4 12 16 50 26 28

Many more 28 67 44 24 7 8 0

A few more 29 24 37 41 7 20 7

No difference 20 2 7 18 10 36 64

A few less 1 0 1 1 0 1 0

Many less 3 6 0 0 7 4 7

Don't Know 20 2 11 17 68 30 22

People living in poverty

worldwide

People living in poverty in

the U.S.

Many more 27 79 35 15 15 4 0

A few more 23 14 37 31 16 13 5

No difference 29 4 14 39 16 58 53

A few less 1 0 1 3 0 0 2

Many less 2 0 2 0 0 1 12

Don't Know 18 3 11 13 53 24 28

Many more 23 62 35 20 10 1 0

A few more 21 23 27 29 5 18 4

No difference 29 2 23 30 7 53 62

A few less 1 0 1 2 0 1 0

Many less 2 6 0 0 7 3 7

Don't Know 23 8 15 19 71 24 27

* Note: Sample was split for these questions: Half saw "worldwide" for each impact (N = 501 ); and half saw "U.S." (N = 499).

Yale/George Mason University Six Americas, March 2012 and Nov. 2011 49


TABLE 18 | Anticipated Impacts of Global Warming on Weather, Humans and the Environment, continued

Over the next 20 years, do you think global

warming will cause more or less of the following, if

nothing is done to address it?

Refugees worldwide

Refugees in the U.S.

Nov 2011

National

Average

Alarmed

(13%)

Concerned

(28%)

Cautious

(24%)

Disengaged

(10%)

Doubtful

(16%)

Dismissive

(9%)

Many more 24 82 29 11 15 4 0

A few more 21 17 32 29 13 12 0

No difference 29 1 22 32 16 58 55

A few less 2 0 0 8 0 0 2

Many less 2 0 0 2 0 1 12

Don't Know 21 0 17 18 56 25 31

Many more 20 53 26 20 7 5 0

A few more 20 16 30 21 5 16 7

No difference 30 10 23 33 10 44 63

A few less 0 0 1 0 0 0 0

Many less 3 6 1 1 7 4 7

Don't Know 27 16 19 25 71 31 23

Disease epidemics

worldwide

Disease epidemics in the

U.S.

Many more 24 69 32 11 16 5 0

A few more 23 17 41 29 13 10 5

No diffe-rence 28 3 12 38 15 59 52

A few less 1 0 2 3 0 0 2

Many less 1 0 0 0 0 1 12

Don't Know 22 11 14 19 56 24 29

Many more 21 46 31 21 7 3 2

A few more 25 32 34 32 5 18 4

No difference 26 2 20 26 7 45 62

A few less 0 0 1 0 0 1 0

Many less 2 4 1 0 7 3 7

Don't Know 25 16 13 21 73 31 24

* Note: Sample was split for these questions: Half saw "worldwide" for each impact (N = 501 ); and half saw "U.S." (N = 499).

Yale/George Mason University Six Americas, March 2012 and Nov. 2011 50


Table 19 | Expectations Regarding Natural Resource Shortages

When, if ever, do you think the United States will start to

experience serious shortage of the following?

Oil

Nov 2011

National

Average

Alarmed

(13%)

Concerned

(28%)

Cautious

(24%)

Disengaged

(10%)

Doubtful

(16%)

Dismissive

(9%)

We are already experiencing shortages 26 42 33 27 18 17 8

In about 10 years 9 12 11 11 7 6 3

In about 25 years 9 10 13 11 1 9 2

In about 50 years 10 10 11 11 4 9 7

In about 100 years 11 12 6 11 2 20 23

Never 8 6 6 7 3 11 25

Don’t know 26 8 20 22 64 29 31

Precious metals (e.g.,

gold, silver, platinum)

We are already experiencing shortages 13 34 16 7 7 8 3

In about 10 years 8 7 9 10 9 4 6

In about 25 years 8 8 7 10 1 12 3

In about 50 years 7 9 6 9 2 7 7

In about 100 years 9 5 7 9 4 16 10

Never 14 10 18 12 4 14 26

Don’t know 42 28 39 42 72 39 45

Natural gas

We are already experiencing shortages 12 26 17 9 6 5 2

In about 10 years 8 10 7 13 9 7 0

In about 25 years 8 12 11 8 2 4 5

In about 50 years 10 15 10 9 6 11 6

In about 100 years 15 18 14 15 2 20 24

Never 14 7 11 13 4 22 33

Don’t know 33 12 31 33 70 32 32

Yale/George Mason University Six Americas, March 2012 and Nov. 2011 51


Table 19 | Expectations Regarding Natural Resource Shortages, continued

When, if ever, do you think the United States will start to

experience serious shortage of the following?

Coal

Nov 2011

National

Average

Alarmed

(13%)

Concerned

(28%)

Cautious

(24%)

Disengaged

(10%)

Doubtful

(16%)

Dismissive

(9%)

We are already experiencing shortages 11 26 12 7 6 9 1

In about 10 years 9 11 11 10 7 5 5

In about 25 years 7 9 11 7 1 6 2

In about 50 years 9 11 9 13 3 9 7

In about 100 years 15 14 13 18 5 21 21

Never 13 8 11 11 3 21 30

Don’t know 36 21 34 33 74 31 35

Base metals (e.g.,

copper, lead, zinc)

We are already experiencing shortages 10 25 11 8 8 7 1

In about 10 years 8 6 8 12 7 4 8

In about 25 years 8 10 12 9 0 9 1

In about 50 years 9 10 7 11 5 9 11

In about 100 years 10 17 8 9 2 14 11

Never 10 5 13 7 4 13 20

Don’t know 45 28 42 45 73 44 47

Uranium (for nuclear

fuel)

We are already experiencing shortages 8 21 9 6 6 4 2

In about 10 years 8 8 8 11 7 4 5

In about 25 years 6 10 7 6 1 6 2

In about 50 years 5 4 5 7 1 6 5

In about 100 years 7 2 6 7 1 8 16

Never 10 7 12 8 2 13 22

Don’t know 57 48 54 56 81 59 48

How worried are you

about our country

running out of natural

resources?

Very worried 9 32 8 5 7 2 1

Somewhat worried 45 48 59 50 33 28 24

Not very worried 35 18 22 39 49 51 42

Not at all worried 12 2 11 6 10 19 34

Yale/George Mason University Six Americas, March 2012 and Nov. 2011 52


Table 20 | Costs and Benefits of Reducing Global Warming

Ignore for the moment the costs of reducing global warming and think just about the benefits. How beneficial would it be to enact government

policies that reduce global warming?

Nov 2011

National

Average

Alarmed

(13%)

Concerned

(28%)

Cautious

(24%)

Disengaged

(10%)

Doubtful

(16%)

Dismissive

(9%)

Extremely Beneficial - 5 26 78 42 12 11 3 0

4 21 13 30 29 11 14 2

3 33 7 24 44 61 42 28

2 9 0 4 9 10 20 21

Not Beneficial at All - 1 11 2 0 7 8 22 49

Ignore for the moment the benefits of reducing global warming and think just about the costs. How costly would it be to enact government

policies to reduce global warming?

Extremely Costly - 5 27 24 22 20 14 36 67

4 30 29 37 37 17 24 17

3 37 37 40 36 62 33 10

2 4 8 1 4 3 5 3

Not Costly at All - 1 2 2 1 2 4 2 2

Yale/George Mason University Six Americas, March 2012 and Nov. 2011 53


Table 21 | Moral Ambivalence about Global Warming

How strongly do you agree or disagree with each of the statements

below?

Nov 2011

National

Average

Alarmed

(13%)

Concerned

(28%)

Cautious

(24%)

Disengaged

(10%)

Doubtful

(16%)

Dismissive

(9%)

I feel conflicted about the issue of global

warming.

Strongly Agree 5 5 3 6 2 1 13

Somewhat Agree 37 17 40 52 42 38 13

Somewhat Disagree 38 20 42 37 50 43 31

Strongly Disagree 21 58 15 6 6 18 43

I worry that trying to solve the problem

of global warming might hurt us in other

ways.

Strongly Agree 9 6 2 7 2 16 30

Somewhat Agree 42 30 47 47 31 43 37

Somewhat Disagree 37 32 42 39 63 30 10

Strongly Disagree 12 32 8 7 5 10 22

I have equally strong reasons for

supporting and opposing policies that aim

to reduce global warming

Strongly Agree 8 11 7 5 0 7 21

Somewhat Agree 48 34 50 59 40 49 40

Somewhat Disagree 32 25 33 31 53 34 18

Strongly Disagree 12 29 10 5 7 10 21

Yale/George Mason University Six Americas, March 2012 and Nov. 2011 54


Table 22 | Future Orientation

How much do you agree or disagree with the following

statements?*

I consider how things might be in the

future and try to influence those things

with my day-to-day behavior.

Nov 2011

National

Average

Alarmed

(13%)

Concerned

(28%)

Cautious

(24%)

Disengaged

(10%)

Doubtful

(16%)

Dismissive

(9%)

Strongly Agree 13 34 10 8 10 12 12

Somewhat Agree 41 44 52 37 31 32 51

Neither agree nor disagree 33 18 29 38 46 37 24

Somewhat Disagree 9 3 6 11 7 15 10

Strongly Disagree 4 0 3 7 7 4 2

I often engage in a particular behavior in

order to achieve outcomes that may not

result for many years.

I am willing to sacrifice my immediate

happiness or well-being in order to

achieve future outcomes.

I think it is important to take warnings

about negative outcomes seriously even

if the negative outcome will not occur for

many years.

* Split sample: Ns range from 472 to 506.

Strongly Agree 9 15 9 8 3 10 12

Somewhat Agree 29 38 39 25 11 25 34

Neither agree nor disagree 41 32 32 40 63 44 44

Somewhat Disagree 12 12 13 13 8 15 7

Strongly Disagree 9 3 7 15 15 6 2

Strongly Agree 11 21 10 9 7 10 10

Somewhat Agree 38 49 47 27 28 34 46

Neither agree nor disagree 32 21 23 43 46 30 27

Somewhat Disagree 11 3 8 14 7 20 10

Strongly Disagree 9 5 12 8 13 6 7

Strongly Agree 19 50 18 13 14 11 15

Somewhat Agree 48 37 58 52 33 42 54

Neither agree nor disagree 25 12 18 24 47 37 15

Somewhat Disagree 6 0 4 12 2 6 12

Strongly Disagree 2 2 2 0 5 4 5

Yale/George Mason University Six Americas, March 2012 and Nov. 2011 55


Table 22 | Future Orientation, continued

How much do you agree or disagree with the following

statements?*

I think it is more important to perform a

behavior with important distant

consequences than a behavior with lessimportant

immediate consequences.

Nov 2011

National

Average

Alarmed

(13%)

Concerned

(28%)

Cautious

(24%)

Disengaged

(10%)

Doubtful

(16%)

Dismissive

(9%)

Strongly Agree 11 31 10 3 8 6 17

Somewhat Agree 29 25 39 36 11 24 32

Neither agree nor disagree 45 36 37 47 64 49 37

Somewhat Disagree 9 7 7 11 7 16 7

Strongly Disagree 6 2 8 4 10 5 7

I think that sacrificing now is usually

unnecessary since future outcomes can

be dealt with at a later time.

I only act to satisfy immediate concerns,

figuring that I will take care of future

problems that may occur at a later date.

I only act to satisfy immediate concerns,

figuring the future will take care of itself.

* Split sample: Ns range from 472 to 506.

Strongly Agree 0 0 0 1 0 0 0

Somewhat Agree 8 8 7 8 6 9 8

Neither agree nor disagree 23 14 15 30 59 20 15

Somewhat Disagree 38 23 38 43 24 49 35

Strongly Disagree 32 55 40 18 12 22 42

Strongly Agree 1 2 0 1 0 1 6

Somewhat Agree 11 6 11 15 9 14 9

Neither agree nor disagree 26 21 28 26 59 17 15

Somewhat Disagree 32 35 28 39 21 33 32

Strongly Disagree 29 36 33 19 12 34 38

Strongly Agree 0 2 0 1 0 0 0

Somewhat Agree 12 11 11 16 14 7 11

Neither agree nor disagree 21 14 19 24 51 19 9

Somewhat Disagree 32 32 29 33 20 43 36

Strongly Disagree 34 42 40 26 14 31 45

Yale/George Mason University Six Americas, March 2012 and Nov. 2011 56


Table 22 | Future Orientation, continued

How much do you agree or disagree with the following

statements?*

My behavior is only influenced by the

immediate (a matter of days and weeks)

outcomes of my actions.

Nov 2011

National

Average

Alarmed

(13%)

Concerned

(28%)

Cautious

(24%)

Disengaged

(10%)

Doubtful

(16%)

Dismissive

(9%)

Strongly Agree 1 5 1 2 0 0 2

Somewhat Agree 11 8 7 17 21 11 4

Neither agree nor disagree 25 18 21 29 47 19 30

Somewhat Disagree 27 23 27 29 21 30 30

Strongly Disagree 36 47 44 24 12 40 34

I generally ignore warnings about

possible future problems because I

think the problems will be resolved

before they reach a crisis level.

* Split sample: Ns range from 472 to 506.

Strongly Agree 1 0 1 0 0 1 2

Somewhat Agree 14 11 9 20 14 14 15

Neither agree nor disagree 28 6 22 37 51 31 27

Somewhat Disagree 35 36 45 31 26 30 27

Strongly Disagree 23 47 22 12 9 23 29

Yale/George Mason University Six Americas, March 2012 and Nov. 2011 57


Table 23 | Political Efficacy

How much do you agree or disagree with the following

statements?

I think that I am better informed

about politics and government than

most people.

Nov 2011

National

Average

Alarmed

(13%)

Concerned

(28%)

Cautious

(24%)

Disengaged

(10%)

Doubtful

(16%)

Dismissive

(9%)

Strongly Agree 7 14 6 2 3 9 15

Somewhat Agree 23 36 17 22 9 24 34

Neither agree nor disagree 40 34 39 41 50 43 30

Somewhat Disagree 20 10 28 21 22 13 16

Strongly Disagree 11 7 11 14 16 12 6

I consider myself to be well

qualified to participate in politics.

Strongly Agree 7 16 7 2 0 7 14

Somewhat Agree 19 26 17 17 16 17 27

Neither agree nor disagree 36 23 30 38 50 42 38

Somewhat Disagree 21 24 25 22 16 18 9

Strongly Disagree 18 12 21 21 20 15 12

I feel that I have a pretty good

understanding of the important

political issues facing our country.

Strongly Agree 10 24 8 4 0 12 21

Somewhat Agree 41 42 41 45 24 44 48

Neither agree nor disagree 30 23 29 32 55 25 19

Somewhat Disagree 12 7 15 11 10 12 9

Strongly Disagree 7 4 7 9 10 7 3

I feel that I could do as good a job in

public office as most people.

Strongly Agree 8 17 6 6 0 11 15

Somewhat Agree 23 28 21 25 10 24 32

Neither agree nor disagree 31 29 28 29 51 33 27

Somewhat Disagree 20 14 25 22 22 16 11

Strongly Disagree 18 12 21 19 17 16 15

I feel confident in my ability to write

a letter, email, or phone a

government official about global

warming over the next 12 months.

Strongly Agree 11 27 10 4 1 12 14

Somewhat Agree 31 42 40 29 20 24 20

Somewhat Disagree 38 22 37 44 69 35 22

Strongly Disagree 20 9 12 24 10 29 44

Yale/George Mason University Six Americas, March 2012 and Nov. 2011 58


Table 24 | Perceptions about Civic Engagement and the Responsiveness of Public Officials

How much do you agree or disagree with the following

statement?

Public officials don't care much

what people like me think about

global warming.

Nov 2011

National

Average

Alarmed

(13%)

Concerned

(28%)

Cautious

(24%)

Disengaged

(10%)

Doubtful

(16%)

Dismissive

(9%)

Strongly Agree 22 34 17 19 0 24 45

Somewhat Agree 46 43 56 49 35 40 30

Somewhat Disagree 28 18 24 28 57 30 18

Strongly Disagree 5 5 2 4 8 6 7

How much attention do you feel

government officials pay to what

the people think when they decide

what action to take, if any, to

address global warming?

A great deal of attention 5 4 12 4 3 0 5 1

4 10 11 10 12 10 6 6

3 40 24 43 46 63 35 24

2 28 37 31 26 15 27 30

No Attention 1 18 15 12 14 12 27 39

Yale/George Mason University Six Americas, March 2012 and Nov. 2011 59


Table 25 | Self-Efficacy for Conservation Actions

If you wanted to do each of the following, how

confident are you that you would be able to do it most

of the time?

In the winter, set the

thermostat to 68 degrees or

cooler

Nov 2011

National

Average

Alarmed

(13%)

Concerned

(28%)

Cautious

(24%)

Disengaged

(10%)

Doubtful

(16%)

Dismissive

(9%)

Completely confident 41 67 40 40 23 36 40

Moderately confident 23 17 24 24 26 25 24

A little bit confident 14 4 14 19 21 15 8

Not at all confident 12 5 11 11 16 15 18

Not applicable 10 7 12 6 15 10 10

Use public transportation or

car pool

Completely confident 16 25 16 13 16 13 16

Moderately confident 13 18 12 14 11 11 9

A little bit confident 18 14 20 22 16 17 16

Not at all confident 29 24 32 28 23 32 28

Not applicable 25 20 20 23 35 27 32

Walk or bike instead of drive

Completely confident 15 30 13 12 14 12 17

Moderately confident 18 19 24 20 17 10 8

A little bit confident 20 15 20 22 19 22 21

Not at all confident 27 21 28 27 17 33 35

Not applicable 19 15 14 20 34 23 19

If you wanted to change most

of the light bulbs in your house

to energy-efficient compact

fluorescent lights (CFLs), how

confident are you that you

would be able to do it?

Completely confident 56 75 62 51 41 54 47

Moderately confident 17 10 19 18 23 19 12

A little bit confident 15 8 14 23 13 14 14

Not at all confident 7 6 5 6 8 6 16

Not applicable 5 2 2 2 14 7 11

Yale/George Mason University Six Americas, March 2012 and Nov. 2011 60


Table 26 | Perceived Effectiveness of Conservation Actions

How effective do you think the following actions are in reducing an

individual American's personal contributions to global warming, if

done most of the time?

In the winter, setting the thermostat to 68

degrees or cooler

Nov 2011

National

Average

Alarmed

(13%)

Concerned

(28%)

Cautious

(24%)

Disengaged

(10%)

Doubtful

(16%)

Dismissive

(9%)

Completely effective 11 29 14 6 4 6 8

Moderately effective 32 40 43 34 21 23 7

A little bit effective 43 27 38 54 64 50 17

Not at all effective 14 4 5 7 11 21 69

Using public transportation or car pooling

Completely effective 16 44 20 9 5 9 2

Moderately effective 41 47 56 48 30 23 11

A little bit effective 32 7 21 41 55 53 21

Not at all effective 11 2 4 3 9 15 66

Walking or biking instead of driving

Completely effective 24 55 28 19 10 13 9

Moderately effective 34 35 47 38 26 27 6

A little bit effective 30 8 22 39 52 45 17

Not at all effective 12 2 3 3 13 15 68

How effective do you think that changing

most of the light bulbs in a home to energyefficient

compact fluorescent lights is in

reducing an individual American's personal

contribution to global warming?

Completely effective 13 30 19 9 5 5 3

Moderately effective 38 47 49 44 26 24 8

A little bit effective 35 19 30 41 54 47 23

Not at all effective 14 3 3 7 14 24 66

Yale/George Mason University Six Americas, March 2012 and Nov. 2011 61


Table 27 | Interpersonal Communication

How many people have you spoken

with about global warming in the last

two weeks?

Nov 2011

National

Average

Alarmed

(13%)

Concerned

(28%)

Cautious

(24%)

Disengaged

(10%)

Doubtful

(16%)

Dismissive

(9%)

More than 10 2 6 1 3 0 3 1

5-10 3 11 4 0 0 4 2

1-4 30 62 36 25 9 18 27

0 64 21 59 72 91 75 69

How often do you discuss global warming

with your family and friends?

Very often 4 24 0 0 0 5 1

Occasionally 27 54 38 15 3 17 29

Rarely 40 20 49 47 39 34 37

Never 29 2 14 38 58 45 33

How many of your friends share your

views on global warming?

All 3 5 1 0 1 5 9

Most 24 55 18 13 9 23 41

Some 29 24 39 31 11 26 26

A few 27 14 32 31 26 26 17

None 18 2 10 24 53 19 7

How often do you discuss global warming

with people who share your opinions on

the issue?

All the Time 1 8 0 0 0 1 0

Often 6 27 3 2 0 5 5

Occasionally 29 49 36 22 14 19 35

Rarely 35 12 41 45 25 30 38

Never 29 4 20 31 61 44 23

How often do you discuss global warming

with people who disagree with your

opinions on the issue?

All the Time 1 4 1 0 0 0 1

Often 4 15 1 2 0 7 2

Occasionally 25 43 28 19 13 20 32

Rarely 38 32 47 44 21 28 41

Never 32 6 24 36 66 46 23

Yale/George Mason University Six Americas, March 2012 and Nov. 2011 62


TABLE 28 | Trust in Information Sources

How much do you trust or distrust the following as a source of

information about global warming?

Your local public health department

Your primary care doctor

Nov 2011

National

Average

Alarmed

(13%)

Concerned

(28%)

Cautious

(24%)

Disengaged

(10%)

Doubtful

(16%)

Dismissive

(9%)

Strongly trust 4 5 5 7 6 1 0

Somewhat trust 55 64 65 59 43 48 31

Somewhat distrust 29 20 24 28 40 35 32

Strongly distrust 12 11 7 7 11 15 37

Strongly trust 10 14 10 10 4 11 7

Somewhat trust 46 48 53 49 51 35 28

Somewhat distrust 30 27 24 32 32 38 34

Strongly distrust 14 12 13 9 13 17 31

Yale/George Mason University Six Americas, March 2012 and Nov. 2011 63


Table 29 | Global Warming in the News: Beliefs, Attitudes and Attention

How much attention do you pay to news stories

about global warming?

Nov 2011

National

Average

Alarmed

(13%)

Concerned

(28%)

Cautious

(24%)

Disengaged

(10%)

Doubtful

(16%)

Dismissive

(9%)

A lot 13 55 13 3 3 9 1

Some 33 37 50 35 12 13 24

A little 38 8 32 51 44 47 44

None 16 0 5 12 41 32 31

How much attention do you pay to news stories

that agree with your views on global warming?

A lot 13 52 12 6 0 6 2

Some 38 40 55 35 21 22 34

A little 33 9 26 43 37 41 40

None 17 0 7 16 42 31 23

How much attention do you pay to news stories

that disagree with your views on global

warming?

A lot 8 33 5 3 0 8 1

Some 33 34 49 30 15 19 32

A little 38 21 34 51 41 39 36

None 21 12 12 16 44 34 31

How much do you agree or disagree with the following statements?

Media coverage of global warming is biased

against my views on the issue.

Strongly Agree 11 7 2 6 0 20 51

Somewhat Agree 36 38 32 37 30 43 36

Somewhat

Disagree

45 44 56 52 63 28 2

Strongly Disagree 9 10 11 5 7 9 11

Media coverage of global warming is distorted

by powerful special interest groups.

Strongly Agree 23 31 12 16 6 32 63

Somewhat Agree 45 38 55 51 38 39 26

Somewhat

Disagree

26 20 30 28 48 20 3

Strongly Disagree 7 11 3 6 8 9 8

Yale/George Mason University Six Americas, March 2012 and Nov. 2011 64


TABLE 30 | Demographics

Age

Gender

Education

Income

Ethnicity

1 Item wording: Bachelor's degree or higher

Mar 2012

National

Average

Alarmed

(13%)

Concerned

(26%)

Cautious

(29%)

Disengaged

(6%)

Doubtful

(15%)

Dismissive

(10%)

18-24 12 10 6 14 12 18 10

25-34 15 11 18 20 24 6 10

35-44 19 25 21 20 9 16 18

45-54 17 15 17 16 26 20 17

55-64 21 20 23 16 17 24 24

65-74 12 16 11 10 7 12 18

75+ 4 3 3 3 5 5 5

Male 48 47 41 47 42 58 56

Female 52 53 59 53 58 42 44

Less than high school 12 8 14 14 15 12 9

High school 30 21 30 33 22 35 27

Some college 29 26 28 30 37 27 32

Bachelor's degree 1 28 46 28 22 25 25 31

Up to $24.9K 20 12 22 19 24 27 10

$25K to $39.9K 16 24 16 16 20 11 13

$40K to $59.9K 16 13 16 18 15 17 19

$60K to $84.9K 17 15 14 18 24 18 20

$85K or more 31 35 32 29 17 27 39

White, non-Hispanic 67 69 64 63 56 71 81

Black, non-Hispanic 11 7 12 15 20 9 5

Other, non-Hispanic 3 3 4 4 2 3 1

Hispanic 15 16 18 15 15 12 9

2+ races, non-Hispanic 3 5 2 2 7 4 5

Yale/George Mason University Six Americas, March 2012 and Nov. 2011 65


Methodology

These results come from nationally representative surveys of American adults, aged 18 and older. The samples were weighted to correspond

with U.S. Census Bureau parameters for the United States.

The surveys were designed by Anthony Leiserowitz, Nicholas Smith and Jay Hmielowski of Yale University, and by Edward Maibach and Connie

Roser-Renouf of George Mason University, and were conducted by Knowledge Networks, using an online research panel of American adults.

• March 2012: Fielded March 12th through March 30th with 1,008 American adults.

• November 2011: Fielded October 20th through November 16th with 1,000 American adults.

• May 2011: Fielded April 23rd through May 12th with 981 American adults.

• June 2010: Fielded May 14 through June 1 with 1,024 American adults.

• January 2010: Fielded December 24, 2009 through January 3, 2010 with 1,001 American adults.

November 2008: Fielded October 7 through November 12 with 2,164 American adults. Data were collected in two waves: wave 1 from


October 7 through October 20, and wave 2 from October 24 through November 12.

The margin of sampling error for the November 2008 survey is plus or minus 2 percent with 95 percent confidence. The margin of sampling error


for all other surveys is plus or minus 3 percent, with 95 percent confidence.

The six audience segments were first identified in analyses of the 2008 data set. Latent Class Analysis was used to segment respondents, based

on 36 variables representing four distinct constructs: global warming beliefs, issue involvement, policy preferences and behaviors. Discriminant

functions derived from the latent class analysis were used with the 2012, 2011 and 2010 data sets to replicate the earlier analysis and identify

changes in the groups.

The survey results from March 2012 and November 2011 have been combined in this report, rather than released separately at the time the data

were gathered, due to circumstances beyond our control that slowed the segmentation analysis of the November data.

All prior reports on Global Warming's Six Americas are available at our websites:

http://climatechange.gmu.edu and http://environment.yale.edu/climate

Yale/George Mason University Six Americas, Nov. 2011 and March 2012 66

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